Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
Even though we still couldn’t be sure, we couldn’t negate such a possibility. But, there was also a possibility that this was not the case. If the magic that cursed that man was indeed originating from Elizabell the Black Witch, we would definitely need the help of an expert who had the experience with that type of black magic in the past. Someone like that man. And while he was still like that, in such a state, we might get the cause of this, but the solution was still eluding us.
What a vacation this tour was turning to be! It was nothing but worries for me from the get go, and right about now they kept on piling up, threatening to bury me under their weight and volume.
Without even realizing it, I clenched my fists so hard they actually started to hurt. I took a deep breath to calm myself down, and looked down at the boy sitting right beside me, enclosing his small hands around my hand. I could see my face reflected in his big eyes.
The boy did not say a word. His expression also did not change. But I knew that deep down inside he was always thinking about me. I’m not the only person here who feels anxious. Once I realized that, I was able to relax, even if only for a little bit.
I unclenched my fists and held the boy’s little hands tight. Then I smiled brightly at him. It’s alright. No matter what happens, we’ll somehow manage. And while I was relieved to feel the tension disappearing from the boy, I heard a familiar laughter in my ears.
「Oh my, how bold of you.」
「They are still the same as ever, even if one of them got smaller.」
Both the Princess and Klanven were laughing genuinely while looking at us with amusement. Meanwhile, Widnichol was looking away with his cheeks bright red. I could also feel my own cheeks turning red. S-so embarrassing! However, I just couldn’t abandon the boy’s hand, so I just chose to laugh instead. In contrast to my own embarrassment, the boy didn’t seem to understand what all the commotion was about, looking at us with the kind of expression that seemed to be asking “What’s wrong?”
Then the boy turns his white, slender hand towards the magic stone. There’s a faint light starting to come out of his hand. Then it all happened instantly. There was a flash of magic light and the image of the Princess simply disappeared. It took me a moment to realize that the boy must have forcibly interfere with the magic stone and cut its supply of magical energy. I was looking at the magic stone there for a moment, completely stunned, and after that I turned towards the boy.
「Edi? Did something happen?」
「…… Who are they?」
The boy didn’t answer my question, instead he came up with his own. I was genuinely at a loss for whatever should I say to him at that moment.
「Let’s see…… Those people are the Princess of our country, her Uncle and the young man is your disciple.」
I expect they might get worried as to why you cut the communication so suddenly, but I do believe that once we explain the situation to them, they are bound to understand. So while looking scornfully at the boy, I turn the magic stone on again.
「Filimna, are you always contacting with people like that?」
「No, not really. Usually it’s the Princess that I talk to ever so often, but tonight was the first time that Klanven and Widnichol joined in.」
I stayed in close contact with the Princess ever since the day that man became a little boy. And while I was only reporting the current status quo, the kind words of the Princess always seemed to calm me down and encourage me to keep on going on. While I was thinking that the boy was looking at me curiously, as if he was wondering what was going on through my head. He then held my hand yet again.
He didn’t say anything. And this time I was sure that he wouldn’t answer no matter how many times I asked him. So instead of delving deeper into that, I decided to change the subject.
「You said that you discovered some new magic formula? Could you tell me what it was?」
That’s right, the new magic formula that the boy supposedly found. After sitting on the edge of the bed for a moment, the boy then stood up and picked up a document from the ground. Then he spread it on the bed. It was covered from top to bottom with magical runes that I couldn’t possibly understand, even if the boy took a whole day to explain them to me. It would be like giving a general only a piece of the map and then ordering him to win the upcoming battle or war. The boy must have noticed my confusion, for he stopped his explanation and only said: “I shall keep on trying to decipher more of the documents tomorrow”.
Looking at the boy right now, studying the documents covered in magic language, I somehow understood that Klanven’s suggestion to pursue the lead of Elizabell being the cause of his sudden transformation was the way for me to go. Maybe if we approached those documents from the perspective of them being connected to Elizabell, we could make some kind of a breakthrough? But wouldn’t hearing the legend of the Black Witch hurt that child’s feelings?
Once that thought crossed my mind, I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring it up. I understood that I wouldn’t be able to say something as painful to him and count on the legend to have absolutely no impact on that boy whatsoever. Doing that would be just too cruel.
Whether or not he was aware of the reason behind my silence, the boy lifted his gaze from over the papers, as if he had just happened to remember something. He then took something out of the pocket of his pajamas and reached out his hand towards me.
What’s this about? The boy continued to stare at me whilst blinking his big eyes.
Asking my question, the boy pointed towards the small bag he was holding in his hand. Once I saw the bag, it occurred to me. Oh, this?
Inside the bag were the magic stone barrette and the wedding ring that must have fallen on the ground the moment that man turned into a child. He probably must have put it inside of the bag so that he would know that he wouldn’t lose it no matter what.
「This barrette is something you received from me for your birthday. The ring is something you made for us for our wedding ceremony.」
I had a matching ring on my hand. Seemingly surprised by those revelations, the boy blinked a few times. I then took the barrette from his hands and started to comb his short hair. I then took the ring in my fingers and placed it on the boy’s ring finger」
「Fufu. I knew it would be too big for you right now. Ahh….. That’s right.」
While the boy kept staring at the ring on his finger, I got up from the bed and took the magic stone that was resting on the mirror stand. I then pulled out the small chain that was on top of the magic stone, feeling the boy’s gaze on me all the time.
「Edi, could you please lend me that ring for a moment?」
While the boy approaches me with the ring I detach the chain from the stone. I then receive the ring from him and pass the chain through it, next showing the boy to bend his neck just a little bit so that I could place the fast-made necklace on him.
「See? That way you will never lose it, even if you wanted to.」
I thought it was a really good idea. While I was smiling in self-satisfaction, the boy picked up his ring and stared at it with a mysterious expression.
But now that I have done it, there was this strange thought stuck in my head: it would be awfully lonely to sleep by myself tonight. So I pat the mattress right next to me while I say to the boy.
「Say, Edi? Would you like to sleep together with me tonight?」
「…… I thought I told you not to treat me like a child.」
「I know, but I really would like you to stay with me tonight. So what do you say? Just for tonight?」
He blinked his eyes rapidly again in surprise. Such childlike reactions were making him all the more cuter. They never failed to put a smile on my face.
I decided to tell him the legend as we lay together so it may help him fall asleep. It proved to be a whole lot harder to tell the whole story in one go. I was also hoping that the blue light of the magic gem and the silver rings will protect us from the eventual nightmares that would visit us.
As I spoke silently, the boy kept on listening without saying anything. A story about a Black Witch and a young boy, and the terrible plague that struck the island as a result of his “betrayal”.
The boy listened to the whole story without interrupting me once. When I got to the end of the story though, it was hard for me to end it with the usual “And then they lived happily ever after” phrase. I then waited in silence for the boy’s reaction. And that reaction surely arrived, in the form of a silent whisper.
As the boy begins to speak I raise my body so that I can have a better look at him. The boy glanced at me, his eyes looking like a night fairies in the dim bluish light.
「I’m sure that Elizabell must have been sad.」
「That’s right. She didn’t care what others thought of her, but she didn’t want her beloved one to reject her. That must have been her biggest fear.」
The boy stretches his hand towards me and gently strokes my cheek, as if to make sure of something.
「I, I love you, too.」